Removing Line Breaks in a Google Spreadsheet

  1. Edit menu > Find and Replace
  2. Paste this in the Find box: \r\n|\n|\r
  3. Check the “Search using regular expressions” box
  4. Replace All

Google Drive – Mail Merging Sheets and Docs

Use Autocrat in your Google Sheet to perform mail merges: amazing.



Energy Efficiency and DTE

My Nexus 6P

In the last 6 years I’ve owned the following phones:

  • Droid Eris
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 6S Plus (tried for a week, then returned)
  • Nexus 6P

In short, I’ve been an iPhone user for the last six years.

So why switch to Android?

Because, as a techie, I wanted to feel “joy” again when using my device. I wanted to feel the thrill of being “outside the box”, of doing (almost) anything I wanted to do without restriction, knowing full well that if I fubar’ed something it would be my fault and my fault alone.

So why did I try the iPhone 6S Plus and return it? Because I wanted something fast and large and fast. Did I mention fast? So I bought the 6S+ from Best Buy on credit (18 months) and tried it for a week. And you know what? It was just a bigger iPhone. Nothing new. Nothing fancy. Sure, the camera was sweet and Force Touch was cool, but neither was cool enough.

So I waited. I waited for the Nexus 6P to become available at Best Buy so I could buy it on credit.

Now that I’ve had it for 3 weeks I have to say: it’s pretty dang sweet.

Sure, it took some getting used to switching from iOS to Android. Sure, Android (still) isn’t as “tight” as iOS. But dang, I can do so many interesting things on Android. NES emulator? Check (Super Mario Bros. on a 5.7″ screen is sweet). More detailed interface when using my utility’s app? Check. Huge buttons when accessing my Roku and Tivo apps? Check.

But you know what I love the most? Giving up my privacy to Google and letting them run my life. Seriously.

When I got the Nexus 6P, I threw my chips on the table and said “Googs, you can have it all. All your base belong to us.” And I have to say; it’s been amazing. Mail, Drive, Maps, Google Now, voice command, Chrome, Voice, Keep – they’re all in sync across my devices and it’s glorious.

Want a shortcut on your homescreen to the family budget you store in a Google Sheet? Done. Want to text from your phone then continue the conversation on Voice? Done. Want to search for an address on your laptop then pick it up from your phone, or have an address with a link to Maps auto-populate your Google Calendar? Done. It’s not quite Jarvis, but dang it get the job done.

And Android’s integration with my Pebble? Amazing. The notifications are SO much more robust now, and my battery life is almost 1.25 to 1.5 times as long. So in essence buying this phone has given a second life to my Original Pebble.

Of course, life isn’t all roses in Nexus City. The camera, touted to be top-of-the-line, is slow and “eh”. The power button is severely misplaced. And the security features like Smart Lock and accessing the phone’s features via voice when the phone is locked is haphazard at best.

But when comparing a $500 price tag (for the 64GB model) to the $800 equivalent iPhone, I’m VERY pleased with my choice.

=== EDIT January 22 2016 ===

After three weeks of experimentation and use I had to factory reset the phone and choose NOT to restore from the backup, as I wanted all of the settings I screwed up to go back to their factory defaults. The phone runs MUCH better now (as it was getting wonky and laggy), and I’ve opted NOT to modify as many settings, having experimented and learned what to touch and not to touch (to my previous statement of Android giving you more than enough rope to hang yourself).

I’ve also discovered widgets, which gave me a bit more functionality that I initially try to acquire via apps, but I’d rather use the built in functionality of Marshmellow. I do wish, however, that I could access music controls on the lock screen. And the damn power button is simply in the wrong place. WRONG!

Installing custom ROMs on Android devices

A reminder to myself:

  1. Go into Settings and “allow installs from unknown sources”
  2. Root your device
    1. Using a computer, find an installer/app (what’s called an APK) that will “root” your device and current OS
    2. Copy it to your device via USB using Android File Transfer
    3. Find and install the installer/app/APK using a file manager. If you don’t have a file manager, install one from Google Play
    4. Root your device
  3. Bootstrap / Recovery
    1. Using a computer, find a 3rd party bootstrap/recovery installer/app/APK that’s specific to your device and current OS
    2. Copy it to your device via USB using Android File Transfer (or download it directly to your device using a browser)
    3. Find and install the installer/app/APK using a file manager. If you don’t have a file manager, install one from Google Play
  4. New OS and Google Apps (“GApps”)
    1. Download the OS and GApps zips of your choice that match your device (both are device specific)
    2. OSes for the Kindle Fire HD7 (tate)
    3. GApps for every device (be sure to get the same version as your OS)
    4. Copy both zips to your device via USB using Android File Transfer
  5. Reboot into the 3rd party Recovery/Bootstrap app that you installed previously
    1. The exact process will be dependent on the device you have and the app that you installed
    2. For the Kindle Fire HD7 (tate) you reboot, then press and hold the Volume Up button when the blue Kindle Fire logo appears after the yellow Kindle Fire logo
  6. Using the 3rd party Recovery/Bootstrap app
    1. Wipe your partitions
    2. Install the zips
    3. Reboot

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